Industry stands up on put- down rate
RACING and Wagering WA ( RWWA) has defended figures that showed 371 greyhounds were put down in the past year, saying in the same period about 60 per cent of dogs found new homes and their wellbeing remained important.
Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren called on the Parliamentary Secretary representing Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt to reveal the number of greyhounds whelped and killed in the year leading up to October 20, 2016.
In 2014 and 2015, 449 and 428 dogs were imported from inter- state respectively, compared to 207 born in WA during 2014- 15.
A spokeswoman from RWWA said the disparity was due to the size of the WA industry and the age dogs were eligible to race.
“The WA greyhound breeding industry is relatively small in comparison to other states, with additional greyhounds being imported from interstate to sustain the local industry,” she said.
“It is important to note that many of the pups whelped in the latter part of 2014- 15 are still too young to race, hence the percent- age of pups to race from that year is currently lower than in prior year. Greyhounds do not race until they are 16 months to two years of age and therefore greyhounds that have been born in the second half of 2015 will not yet have reached racing age.”
RWWA could not guarantee whether dogs from interstate had been live baited.
Of racing greyhounds put down, 96 were killed after they were deemed unsuitable for racing, 88 were considered unsuitable for new homes and 187 were killed after sustaining track injuries.
Comparatively 616 greyhounds within the industry were found new homes, including 163 through the RWWA- run program Greyhounds as Pets ( GAP), 124 directly from breeders or trainers and 274 through other organisations.
The RWWA spokeswoman said further efforts would go towards the wellbeing of racing and finding homes for dogs.
“The greyhound racing industry nationally has acknowledged that there is a need for continued improvement in relation to euthanasia rates and the re- homing of greyhounds,” she said.
“RWWA has increased its investment in the GAP program from $ 120,000 in 2014- 15 to almost $ 500,000 this year, since assuming control in 2014.
“The investment includes the lease of a new GAP facility, which has increased kennel capacity, as well as the employment of a dedicated program co- ordinator and kennel manager.”
RWWA is committed to the best levels of care, she said.